[Issue 4 / February 2013]
I was at the Hyderabad literary festival (Jan 18-20) to participate in a panel discussion called ‘Publish, Don’t Perish’. The listeners—mostly college students—talked about the lack of opportunities for emerging voices. It was wonderful to introduce them to Open Road Review. I continued to promote the journal a week later at the Jaipur literature festival too. If you wish to know more about the Jaipur festival do read my short piece on the Island literary magazine’s website from here.
While the quantity and quality of submissions have improved during the last reading period, there is still a lack of awareness among writers about Open Road Review. We hope to bridge this gap in 2013 and are in the process of initiating several steps—including the print book of the best short stories published online—so as to raise awareness about the journal. Issue 4 has three short fiction pieces (with audio links), eight pieces of poetry, one creative nonfiction piece and one artwork in the form of photography.
According to Shanti Perez, the fiction editor, Kirpal Gordon in ‘The Zeitgeist of Love’ takes us into the spirit of a time (1972) when Nazi fathers still loomed over their daughters as he uses philosophy to tell the story of Stephanos Stravros, a young Greek man who lives in Astoria-Queens with his parents and is dating a German girl, Frieda, much to his parents’ dismay. John Bigg in his story ‘Sacred Alarm Clock’ has strong character from the viewpoint of a troubled, pre-teen Apache boy whose mother has died leaving him in the care of foster parents. Gaurav Deka’s story ‘Blue’ is framed by an unnamed, first person narrator who tells the heartbreaking tale of Krishna, a transsexual, whose lover enters the “land of incurables”. Hope you like them as much as I did.
The poetry section includes a moving poem by Mo Tejani of Thailand called ‘Quilt Maker’. I met Mo at Bangkok in Nov 12 during the Asia Pacific Writers ‘Reaching the World’ literary festival. On 7th Nov he shared the dais with me and read a poem called ‘Letter to Obama’. With his baritone voice and reciting skills he enthralled us. Later we bonded well and hung out late one evening drinking beer and chatting with friends. Mo died on 1 Jan 13. It was a rude shock. Once the shock subsided I was secretly hoping Leah McMenamin, our poetry editor, likes his poem enough to include in this issue. I am glad she did.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2013.
New Delhi, India
Pink Lipstick by M. J. Morrisey (Ireland)
Quilt Maker by Mo Tejani (Thailand)
Letters to a Comrade by Ndongolera C. Mwangupili (Malawi)
The Cowards by Valentina Cano (USA)
Night Rivers by Charles F. Thielman (USA)
The Lizard by Prathap Kamath (India)
1 by Changming Yuan (China)
Rewind by M K Ajay (India/USA)
People like Them by Brenda Wilson